Today's Clean Electric Energy

Learn how the Clean Electric Energy and Electric Utility Industries work in seven sessions. While it is suggested to first take the complimentary, introductory session and then take each session in order, that approach is not mandatory to understand the material. Each session’s content will stand on its own. You are encouraged to attend or watch whichever sessions interest you the most!

Session 1

Session 1: Foundations

What does “Clean Energy” really mean? What is electricity, how does it work, and how is it “generated?” This complimentary session will lead you through foundational definitions and explanations helpful for the rest of the series. Topics covered include: types of energy; a model for clean energy; basics concepts of electricity, including current, voltage, power and energy; direct current & alternating current; magnetic fields; how transformers work; how electricity is generated; automatic generation control; and the four major components of the electric power system.

Session 2

Session 2: Clean Energy’s Impact on Generation & Demand

How well do you understand how electricity is generated using natural gas and renewable generation choices? How do the different generation technologies work? What is the current outlook on prices? What tradeoffs do industry planners have to consider before building them? This session will open with an overview of electricity generation sources in the US and how & why the portfolio is changing. Attendees will be put in the shoes of industry planners to understand the many trade-offs between generation types.  Topics that will be covered include demand curves, including traditional base load, cycling load, and peak load; natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, wind, concentrated solar, and utility scale solar generation – how they each work and the current market outlook at their pricing, water needs, land needs, and emissions output.  This session wraps up looking at energy storage options and demand side management options and their growing role as choices for planners and operators.

Session 3

Session 3: Grid Operations & Organized Markets

Session 3 will dive deeper into the North American electric grid — how it’s regulated and organized; an overview of federal regulatory bodies and rules which enable the grid to function; how electric operations, balancing authorities, grid capacity, and reserves work; how organized markets work — what services they provide; and the concepts behind how day-ahead and real-time energy markets function.

Session 4

Session 4: Utility Regulation & Ratemaking

How are utilities regulated on a local level and how do they go about setting rates? What are utilities’ financial incentives and are those incentives a predictor of how utilities carry out their business? Session 4 topics include the traditional utility business model; what monopolies are; what the regulatory compact is; how states regulate investor owned utilities; how the rate case process works, the formulas used for utilities to earn money; and the process they go through in determining what rates to charge customers. Attendees will also see the differences in regulation and ratemaking between investor owned utilities and publicly owned utilities (municipals and cooperatives). We’ll provide a glimpse of how the traditional utility incentive models are being adapted to better meet today’s needed outcomes and realities towards the end of the session.

Session 5

Session 5: Industry Disruption from Deregulation & Clean Energy

This session will examine some of the ways the industry has been disrupted and what changes are underway.  Four current and potential future disrupters will be discussed.  (1) Deregulation:  what role has deregulation played and what might the future electric utility look like in states like California and New York? (2) DG and DERs:  why has distributed generation and distributed energy resources been so disruptive to utilities’ business models, relationships with customers, and operations? (3)  Increasing amounts of renewables:  with many states pressing for higher percentages of renewables how are grid operations affected and are there any limits to renewables to maintain grid reliability? (4) Carbon pricing future: what are the current experiences in pricing carbon and what models might be used in the future?  This session ends with a discussion of  the best opportunities for innovation, job & economic growth, education, and new electric utility roles.

Session 6

Session 6: Evolving Customer Relationships & Programs

How do utilities maintain the relationship with their customers and how is that changing? What are the ways utilities use to change customer behavior?  How are things changing?  Session 6 reviews the evolving utility/customer relationship.  Topics include customer billing, customer groups, customer electricity usage, the components of electricity rates, electricity rates around the US, how and why utilities offer customer programs, and examples of industry leading customer programs. This session ends with a discussion around the impact of flat electricity demand growth and the search for growth programs & beneficial electrification.

Session 7

Session 7: Opportunities in Transportation Electrification

Session 7 dives into the opportunities and challenges in electrifying the transportation industry; energy density and it’s implications in moving to battery technology and charging infrastructure; charging infrastructure and standards; electric roads and overhead charging options; emerging choices from the world’s passenger vehicle, bus, and trucking companies; the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine; and forecasts for electric vehicles. This session ends with a call to action: what are the actions everyone has the ability to influence which can accelerate the move to transportation industry electrification?